Book: Fragments of the past
FRAGMENTS OF THE PAST
The ability of get his one’s way always was considered as a sign of a man with a purpose . However, very often, achieving this does not coincide with the societal ethical norms.
I am recalling 1951, the year when I was a student at Electro technical University in Leningrad in the Soviet Union. A group of our students were expecting an examination on a subject called electrical drives. The problem with this exam lay in the personality of our teacher. He was a very old man, who established this subject in czarist Russia and founded the first laboratories. He lived in the past and considered students as coworkers. At one of his lectures, he recalled his youth and told us about many problems he had creating the laboratories and getting the equipment he needed. But, we, as students expected some kind of short synopsis from which we could possibly compose a lecture summary. In order to prepare for the exam, he recommended we reference his personal book, which was written in 1925 and was available in the scientific library. Only two copies were available- (To make an extra copy of a book at that time was absolutely forbidden). The problem was aggravated by the fact that students were deprived of the regular grants if they get an examination grade lower than 4.
Briefly, regarding the last conversation we had with our teacher, a day before the examination we were trying to inspire him with one problem that we cannot get a grade lower than 4. At first, he did not understand what we are talking about but after that same question was repeated several times, he finally understood our problem and he promised to satisfy our request. As an honest man, he fulfilled his promise. This way, the group of students reached their goal which was the promise of teachers to support our regular grants.
The year I described was his final one as a teacher due to the onset of some kind of memory disease. In this case, his emotions overcame his teaching duties. His name was Serge Rinkevich and he passed away in 1952.
In psychology, there is term –empathy, which means to have capacity to understand another person’s position or situation (to feel like you are in their shoes) The described case with the old professor confirms his understanding of the students position. Unfortunately, our world as it stands today gives little examples of empathy, but this feeling may be referred to not only individual people but to social or nationalistic groups as well.
For example, I would suggest to a reader to think about this : what is there in common between Russian Czars Alexander II, who ruled Russia in the mid nineteen century ,Nicolas II, who ruled Russia between 1894 and 1917,General Secretary of the Communist Party Stalin and President of Russia, Yelzin . At first glance, it appears that there is no correlation between these people. But Alexander the Second protected Serbs from Turkish aggression at the second half of 19th century and he permitted Russian volunteers to go to Serbia and help this country. His grandchild, Nicolas II, dragged Russia to World War One in 1914. He choose to help Serbia against Austro-Hungary ultimatum because Serbia, like Russia, was an Orthodox country. By this decision, he destroyed his rule, his family and his country. He decided to enter the war, although some clear-sighted politicians warned him about consequences of this daring decision. One of these people was a member of State Council, Durnovo, who wrote a special memorandum about these consequences. In February of 191,4 Durnovo predicted many future events which actually happened. It is very important that he clearly wrote that only intelligentsia wants to create a republic state with human rights. But ordinary peasants and workers don’t understand what this means because they are not looking into the future. They want only land, higher salary and peace. He predicted that socialists parties with these promises will easily get the support of the majority of people. He also forecasted that left parties will establish very cruel control of the country. However, the czar did not listen to his advice (I believe that one of the reasons to start war was a fear that if he would not help Serbia, the people would think that the czar is not Russian, but of German desent, because he had only 1.5% of Russian blood). Besides Durnovo, some other very smart politicians warned the czar about great danger of entering into a into war. One of these people was former Prime-Minister, S.Vitte , who concluded a good peace treaty with Japan in spite of Russia’s loss of the war in 1905.However, Nicolas II showed empathy to the Serbs and started the war.
In April 1941, the Soviet Union secret police helped some Serbian officers organize a revolt in the capital of Yugoslavia Belgrade. The officers immediately were acknowledged by Soviet Union as the new government, although at that time the Soviet Union had the peace treaty with Germany. Hitler was mad because pro Soviet government of Yugoslavia could at any time interrupt German connections to Balkans. He immediately started a war with Yugoslavia, his planes bombed Belgrade and in several days this revolt was suppressed. This revolt and Yugoslav’s occupation by Germans which followed after this slowed down German attack on the Soviet Union in the June of 1941. Stalin decided that no reasons to start the war at that time, therefore these actions of Hitler were simply ignored.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin warned West in the year 1999 that Moscow would consider sending troops to protect the Serbian province named Kosovo from, as he called it, a foreign ground invasion. It was the same president who recommended to former republics of the Soviet Union to take as much sovereignty as they are able to handle. Here’s a question: why do absolutely different Russian rulers ,whose lived at different times consider the Serbia’s protection as extremely important for Russia?
In my view, the answer lies in the teachings of a famous psychologist, Karl Jung. His explanation which was delivered at a lecture in London in 1936, ”My thesis then, is as follows: in addition to our immediate consciousness ,which is of a personal nature and which we believe to be only empirical psyche, there exist a second psychic system of a collective, universal and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.” Thus, the collective unconscious compelled four different leaders of Russia to accept in different times the similar political decisions related to the Serbia.
The ability to understand some people’s minds and predict future events is peculiar to some human beings . For example, famous extra sense Wolf Messing frightened market-woman in Berlin at the beginning of the 19th century with words like that :”Do not worry about your cow. Your daughter will milk it. Or “Next year your daughter will get married and will be happy”. The man or women, who possess these abilities to some extent we refer to as farsighted people. In real life, these people are able to view events which are invisible to general public. This is concerning in any aspect of human activities.
For example, let us take a look in literature, exactly in the books of biography of some cruel Russia’s rulers like Joseph Stalin. Many books are written about his biography. But what description of Stalin is the most truthful? It should be written by an author who deeply understood his psychology. Therefore, we may easily throw away descriptions of Stalin in the books of his admirers and bootlickers like Barbusse, Feuchtwanger, Roman Rollin and many others. We consider only the close group of Stalin’s coworkers who knew him at his work as General Secretary of Communist Party since year 1922. Absolutely none of his coworkers understood Stalin well. This is obvious from the behavior of members of Politburo, Zinoviev, Kamenev and later Bukharin. They considered as their main enemy, Trotsky, and were trying to restrict his power. (Trotsky later wrote a book about Stalin where he displayed his whole misunderstanding of Stalin’s character). For Stalin, the conception of empathy even for people close to him, people like his wife Nadia or son Jacob or others did not exist. However, among Stalin’s assistants, was his secretary Boris Buzhanov. He was an honest young man, who originally shared Marxist convictions in a happy life under communism. However, gradually his observations of relationships between the Communist Party leaders behavior in the Central Committee and Politburo changed his opinions about the future of the country. He was a very useful assistant for General Secretary Stalin because he often suggested decisions of many problems and released Stalin from routine work. But Buzhanov was also a very good psychologist, so he was interested in real Stalin’s interest. Pretty soon he discovered this. Stalin was interested only in the selection of the Communist Party personnel loyal to him. That’s it. He passed a very simple principle of the people selection: “I gave you this position, which means you are my servant and no matter what problem is discussed you, will be on my side. (This condition corresponded well to the Russian people characters, when loyalty to the superior is much more important than faithfulness to some ideas.) Therefore, Stalin co-opted these type people to the Central Committee and later to the Politburo. His enemies, like Trotsky, Zinoviev ,Kamenev and later Bucharin and others did not understand Stalin’s intentions and thought that Stalin ,as Lenin did, simply tried to establish his view to Russia’s future. In reality, Stalin simply imitated the Party disagreements only for hiding his real intentions. His real goal was to be an individual head of the large country as a dictator or czar herefore, he ignored ideas of communism and advertised that police regime, which he created, as socialism . Practically by 1927, after he got full control of the Red Army and Ministry of Internal Affairs, he became the dictator of the Soviet Union. His opponents were smart people, but they lost because of their loyalty to ideas of Lenin and Marx just as Stalin won due to his deep understanding of the Russian people’s psychology. This knowledge helped him to foresee future events much better than his adversaries imagined it. The results of such politics are known. I would like to add that Buzhanov understood the danger of his position and tried to distance himself from active duties. And on January 1,1928 he escaped from the Soviet Union through the border with Persia.(He understood well psychology of Soviet frontier guards who at this day were totally drunk). Buzhanov was not a man of extra sense but a very penetrating and farsighted man. He overcame a lot of life threatening situations in Persia where at that time Soviets had big influence. Finally, he reached India, which was a British colony. This way his ability to penetrate his boss’s mind saved his life.
There are many examples when farsighted people get advantages in ordinary life due to their ability to analyze minds of other people. At the same time, even people with higher than normal intellect due to ideological restrictions, are blinded and unable sensibly to appreciate the political situation. Even now an official propaganda recalled Stalin as an organizer of the mass repressions in 1937 and 1938, which is absolutely true. However, the media ignores the ways which allowed Stalin to promote himself to the position of the head of the Communist Party. The best characteristic of this way may be expressed with one word “deception”. He deceived Lenin that he is a revolutionary, he deceived his wife Nadja and when she understood his true behavior she could not find a better way to leave him than killing herself. He deceived members of Politburo of Lenin’s Party that he is Leninist and Marxist. And he gradually removed old members of Lenin’s Party, replacing them with primitive ordinary people. The main quality of his mind was extra cunning and he was a great actor. Later, he filled the minds of the total majority of the Soviet people with firm conviction that Stalin is a genius .He was definitely a farsighted man and he understood people around him much better when they understood him. He knew very well the Russian people’s psychology and decided to use the same weapon which Hitler used for the nation unity- anti-Semitism. He also introduced in the minds of all the population of the Soviet Union only wild fear of his secret police .The man who bite through him and understood his mind was his former secretary Buzhanov . I consider Stalin a great man because he transformed the huge country from the Party control to his personal control under the pretext of fight for communism. His abilities to manipulate with human minds using propaganda tools are extraordinary. And he never displayed an empathy to any human being.
In a 1916, in an IQ test was developed by Lewis Terman, he proposed a scale for classifying IQ results. We can use his classification for our case study here. Extra sense like Wolf Messing will get IQ equal 140 or higher (genius).However, Stalin in my view, should have classification not less than130, because he achieved his own way and totally removed all real and potential enemies. (In this classification, Stalin exceeded Lenin’s IQ because Lenin was still under the influence of Marxism and seriously accepted some of its dogmas just as Stalin despised communist ideas the same way as he despised Christianity. He used these ideas when he considered them as advantageous for achievement of personal goals.
He acted exactly the same way as the head of a famous criminal organization, the mafia, acted in Italy. And the continued killings of potential enemies in a way to retain his personal power.
Taking into consideration that Stalin totally cheated leaders of Europe and USA, including Hitler himself, it is possible to say that no opposition to him may exist in the Soviet Union. Stalin cheated not only the Soviet Union population but at least half of the world, promising a paradise under his control. Of course, the communist propaganda called him the coryphaeus and genius. It took several years to introduce this idea to the minds of mankind, but he was successful in this. Therefore, I consider that his IQ was very high .
Considering the Russian President Yeltsin from this same point of view, I feel that his IQ is not higher than 70.
As for czar Nikolas II, his IQ is not higher than 80 because in accordance with his decisions and actions, he is not smarter than an average man.
Returning to the old professor whose 15 students explained in 1951 that they cannot get examination grades lower than 4 and finally we introduced this thought in his mind .He carried out his promise and nobody was cheated. Stalin was absolutely in contrast to this old professor because sympathy and pity never visited his mind.
The detailed explanation of his behavior is beyond the scope of this essay.